Mozart’s Death: A New Theory

By January 31, 2013Music

Mozart’s death at the age of thirty-five was described as being caused by ‘severe miliary fever’. This was diagnosed in the posthumous report by a parish register. Mozart had been sickly throughout his life with bouts of smallpox, pneumonia, typhoid fever, gum disease, tonsillitis and bronchitis. Due to the frequent throat infections and fevers he had over the years, strep throat would fit in with the other illnesses. He began to get sick while in Prague during 1791 and when he returned to Vienna his condition seemed to worsen. He became sullen due to his illness and was convinced he was slowly being poisoned to death. Friends and family tried to cheer Mozart up, as they got him to complete his Clarinet Concerto as well as premiere The Magic Flute on September 30, 1791. This put Mozart in good spirits until his symptoms worsened and he became bedridden due to swelling, pain and vomiting on November 20, 1791. His theory of being poisoned continued until his death on December 5, 1791.

Yet, the swelling, pain and vomiting does not follow the symptoms of arsenic poisoning. The ‘severe miliary fever’ just gives the clue of a rash and fever. All the symptoms, rash, fever, swelling, pain and vomiting, together point in the direction of strep throat; which was also plaguing a military hospital in Vienna at the time. As well, the swelling of his limbs coincides with the statistic that edema (swelling caused by fluid in body tissue in the hands, arms, ankles, legs and feet) was the third most common death in Vienna in the weeks of Mozart’s death.

However, due to Mozart’s fame, there will always be theories about his death, such as poisoning, lack of vitamin D, or a subdural hematoma. As even to this day rumours about Mozart’s death swirl around, it only adds to his legacy.

Article Details: Conspiracy or Bacteria In the Death of Mozart

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